A previously reported head-on fatal collision in Anza has now been reclassified as “attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon” by the California Highway Patrol and is under further investigation.

The Monday, June 8, incident involved two men from Anza, William Gibson, 56, and Steven Rusing, 51. According to the initial CHP report, Gibson was driving his 1994 Ford Ranger northbound on Terwilliger Road, approaching the intersection of Ovenshire Road. The second vehicle, a blue Saturn SL1, was traveling southbound toward the same intersection. The initial report indicated one of the vehicles veered over the yellow line on Terwilliger Road near the Ovenshire Road intersection and collided head-on with the second vehicle.

Based on subsequent investigation, CHP is now reporting that the two men knew each other and had a long history of disagreements and confrontation. According to the CHP report, it now appears Rusing recognized Gibson and deliberately turned his Saturn vehicle toward Gibson’s Ford Ranger. Gibson saw the Saturn coming directly toward him and made an abrupt leftward turning movement in an attempt to avoid the collision. The vehicles collided in the Ovenshire Road intersection, trapping both men in their vehicles.

Gibson suffered major injuries and was transported to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar. Rusing died at the scene.

CHP Public Information Officer Darren Meyer asked any individuals with further information to call him at 951-659-2020, ext. 238, or after 5 p.m. by email at [email protected]